Saturday, May 19, 2012

On the hunt for voles

Mary has been slaving away in the garden now for over a month, and has made immense progress getting many holes in the ground and filling them with plants. And, praise God, they are growing.

But now comes a critical time, as we wait to see how the various measures to counter the rapacious vole population take effect.  To date we have taken delivery of a huge load of gravel, which David helped Mary till into the soil, so as to cut into the skin of those pesky little fuckers and they tunnel their way towards the roots of our fresh plantings. Our cat Rascal has been on the prowl constantly, and has killed many a vole, as well as mice and chipmunks.  Mary has secured a supply of pigs' blood, which she sprinkles round the bases of the little plantings to ward off the wee furred demons.

But there's more to be done.  Voles love to nest in stone walls and in fields of rocks, so we are undertaking a non-trivial stone abatement program. Your blogger has, truth be told, lugged many plastic planters full of rocks down to the bottom of the ravine in our yard, where we couldn't possibly ever seek to grow anything, where I have strewn them around in a way entirely in keeping with town ordinances seeking to prevent erosion around stream beds (I think the term the bureaucrats use is "riparian buffers" or something like that) to control algae blooms down in Jordan Lake. This is backbreaking and probably foolhardy labor, sort of an inversion of Sisyphus's chore, but in essence probably just as effective, given how many rocks we have in our yard. But it draws me closer to the land in some primordial sense, and is likely good for my core, and certainly a boon to my marriage.


K said...

Last year was the culmination of the 13 year cicada cycle. We generally see more voles on this end of the cycle--they eat cicada larvae. They should begin a decline now--cicadas and voles.

Graham Klarkovich Illiorum said...

K -- thanks a bunch. That's very encouraging. We do so hate the little guys, whatever their role in the broader ecosystem.